well, since my north branch tour was so well received, i decided to to a
south branch tour before the paddling season ended. once again i put in at
the mouth of the river by LSD, i then paddled down the main branch to wolf
point, then turning left down the south branch. i paddled all the way south
and west to ashland, where i then paddled the full length of bubbly creek up
and down, then came back to the south branch and headed west into the
chicago sanitary and ship canal, getting as far west as the kedzie bridge, i
then turned around and paddled back to the public boat ramp at western
avenue. then i folded up my boat, slung it on my back and hoofed it over to
the orange line stop in mckinley park and rode the el back home. all in all it was
a 11 mile, 5 hour kayak exploration extravaganza.
the weather this past saturday was absolutely terrible for photography, but
i've done my best to get these as good as i could. the real intent is to show
the river as it is anyway, so the gloomy overcast kinda works with the
heavily industrial south branch.
in case you missed, here is a link to the north branch thread:
1. i was treated to the LSD bridge opening up for some sailboats just before i left.
2. trump with his head in the clouds
3. home sweet home
4. i just absolutely LOVE 55 west wacker. i really, really do
5. 353 north clark rises behind the westin
6. it's really best to just not talk about it
7. beaux arts and art deco together at last
8. 300 north lasalle stretches skyward
9. last time we went right on the north branch, this time we're headed left on
the south branch. SCROLL------------------------------------->
10. this is a cute little train switching house left from the olden days
11. ivy, bricks, water and glass - the elements of the city.
12. city texture
13. the boeing building from the water
14. the buildings of gateway center
15. insull's magnificent throne, the civic opera building
16. architectural surgery at the medium old mercantile exchange
17. i don't remember the name of this one, but it's quite nice. sears in the clouds behind
18. looking straight-up
19. modern generica at gateway center
20. looking back north down the south branch canyon
21. this one was recently reclad. looks pretty good.
23. new condo towers along wells
24. looking back, the old post office on the left
25. my spidey sense is tingling, were about to experience some coolness
26. bertrand goldberg's wonderful river city
27. urban corridor
28. looking back towards the textures of the loop
29. the massive mixed-use roosevelt collection complex under construction
30. i don't know what it is, but it's cool, so i like it
31. the new southside skyline pano SCROLL------------------------->
32. what's my avatar doing floating in the river?
33. YES! YES! YES! THIS ROCKS!
34. NO! NO! NO! DON"T STOP ROCKING!
35. echos of big john. do you think fazlur might have ever kayaked down the river for inspiration?
36. the 18th street bridge. we're getting close to chinatown
37. beautiful ping tom park with an orange line train rumbling by in the background
38. a groovy old loft building opposite ping tom park
39. urban texture back over my shoulder
40. one museum park looms over ping tom park
41. it's official: steel is the most kick-ass building material of all time!
42. steel, steel, steel......... i like steel
43. these railroad bridges just rule. fortunately, we'll see several more along the tour.
44. the canal street bridge
45. lawrence's fisheries, a locally famous south branch eatery
46. the cermack bridge, this one is cool because it's one of the last rolling lift bridges.
47. a cool old loft building
48. the ozinga concrete plant
49. the dan ryan expressway bridge floats high above the river because
expressways can't have draw bridges
50. underneath the dan ryan.
51. the halsted street bridge
52. the fisk power plant taking in a barge load of coal
53. a cool little building at the fisk plant. look at the care they used to take
even with simple little utilitarian industrial buildings.
54. industry is cool
55. i don't know what tower this is, but i liked the massive antenna
56. your guess is as good as mine
57. another barge full of coal heading up to the fisk plant. loomis bridge in the background
58. this is one of the long slips that stretches north from the south branch
59. another long slip. this was the lumber center of the world back in the 19th century
60. and now we come to the junction with bubbly creek. the creek is off to the
left, the south branch continues on to the right. we're gonna detour here and
come back to the south branch after exploring bubbly creek. SCROLL ------->
61. the entrance to bubbly creek
62. this is the 1st of 4 bridges right in a row at the start of bubbly creek.
this is a cool old railroad bridge, then there is the CTA orange line, then the
stevenson expressway, and finally archer avenue.
63. yes virginia, bubbly creek still bubbles to this very day
64. beneath the quad bridges
65. orange line stop is close by. good to know
66. bubbly creek is a really peaceful and placid body of water. how far it's
come from the days when it was choked with rotting animal carcasses
67. newish single family home development on the banks of bubbly creek
68. more newish homes
69. nice loft building
70. i couldn't figure out what this building was, but my guess is water treatment facility
71. this is the end of bubbly creek at it exists today. we gotta turn around
and head back north to the south branch
72. the 35th street bridge crossing bubbly creek
73. sears looms over bridgeport homes
74. canal origins park at the mouth of bubbly creek
75. a skyline view
76. the sailboats from earlier in the morning finally caught up to me at ashland
77. the damen bridge. this one is not as cool as the damen bridge on the north branch
78. abandoned grain elevator decorated with graffiti
79. at damen, the river technically ends and the chicago sanitary & ship canal begins
80. a big old barge
81. yes! more coolness dead ahead
82. yes! coolness!
83. i'm speechless
85. the california bridge. it's a basculle bridge, but it has no bridge control towers. odd.
86. more bridge awesomeness. this time a swing bridge!
87. what a beauty
88. a detail shot of the swing axle pylon
89. a bridge too far. there was another cool swing bridge about a half-mile down
the river, but at this point, i've paddled about 11 miles and i'm just simply out
of gas. so i turned around just past kedzie and headed back to western
90. a neat little railroad bridge across the mouths of one of the side slips. i
have no idea how this bridge opened, but there's some mechanical stuff you
can see on the left.
93. the public boat ramp and launch dock at western
94. thanks for coming along on the paddle with me, until next time...........